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Blast-hit Kokuka tanker being towed towards UAE - operator

FILE PHOTO: A picture of the Kokuka Courageous, one of two that were hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman, is displayed during a news conference by the ship owner Kokuka Sangyo Ltd. at the company office in Tokyo, Japan June 13, 2019, in in this photo released by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Kokuka Courageous, one of two tankers attacked with explosives on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, is now safely under tow and heading towards the United Arab Emirates’ port of Kalba, south of Fujairah, the ship’s operator said on Friday.

Bernhard Schulte Ship management, updated an earlier statement that had said the ship was heading to the port of Khor Fakkan.

A company official said the ship had been rerouted because of congestion in both Khor Fakkan and Fujairah.

Earlier, the Dutch marine engineering firm Boskalis said it had been appointed to salvage the vessel and the other tanker, the Front Altair, operated by Frontline.

“The Kokuka Courageous is stable. Full damage assessments will be carried out, but there is no danger of her sinking and there is no loss of cargo or fuel containment,” the statement said.

The United States and Britain have accused Iran of attacking the tankers. Tehran has denied all the allegations. Thursday’s incident drove up oil prices and has fuelled concerns about a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, Tarek Fahmy in Dubai; writing by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Kevin Liffey